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Rash decisions.

2008-05-02 - 1:18 p.m.

I'm 34 weeks today, April is over and I’ve got two weeks left at work before I’m gone for a year. It still feels pretty surreal to say that. If all goes to plan, we’re going into the hospital a month from tomorrow to have the Biscuit. Now that it’s getting so close, you may notice more of a “count-down” theme here in the next little while, especially as I try to wrap my head around it.

I have a couple of things I’d like to bounce off y’all today:

One is, Grommet got a small rash on the inside of her elbow a couple of days ago. ‘No big deal’ I thought, ‘looks like a touch of eczema.’ The next day it had spread to a medium-sized patch on her side. By yesterday morning that patch had grown pretty large and was connected to her elbow by running up under her armpit and along the inside of her upper arm. WTF?

We took her to the doctor in the afternoon who agreed it looked like eczema, but was puzzled about the fact that it was really only affecting one side of her body and that it was showing up in areas that weren’t typical for eczema. After quizzing us closely about possible triggers that could have been introduced in the last few days, she wasn’t 100% convinced it was eczema, but decided to treat it as she would if it were, since that basically means treating the symptoms, and Grommet was clearly itchy and there was no obvious other pathology. So, we got some steroid cream and instructions to slather her with a moisturizer called “Glaxal Base” within 3 minutes of getting out of the bath. Even by the time we got home we were finding more patches of the stuff.

My questions are: has anyone ever heard of eczema being so aggressive, particularly in someone who’s never had any kind of skin problems before? I mean, even diaper rash has not been a problem with this kid unless she was on antibiotics or something. What about allergies? I’ve tried to remember if she’s had any new food or contact with any new substance this week, but I’m drawing a blank. She generally gets baths 2 or 3 times a week – more in summer when it’s hot and therefore recreational to put her in the big blue plastic tub on the porch to play – so I don’t think we’re over- or under-bathing her.

Number two is: should we have Grommet come to the hospital to meet Biscuit, or should we wait until we’re home, or should we wait until we’re at some specific point at the hospital? It never really occurred to me that this would be an issue, but I’ve read on some comment boards that young kids “shouldn’t” come to the hospital to meet the new one there if it was a c-section birth. The reasoning is that you don’t want them to be scared of the sight of mom as a patient, or to be trying to climb onto a freshly-sutured belly or running amok when you’re hooked up to IV lines etc.

I don’t know; I’m thinking the IV should be out within 24 hours and I’ll be missing my little Grommet by then and wanting to share her new brother with her. And since I’ll be there for 3 or 4 days it seems like it’d be too long to not see her. But I don’t want to scar her for life either. She’s clearly freaked out by elevators since the incident; would she have a bad impression of hospitals to see mom all puffy and sore and having a hard time hobbling around? Any insight or sharing of experience in this area is appreciated.

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